The United States Sentencing Commission released a report this morning on clemencies granted by President Obama to federal prisoners. President Obama made 1,928 grants of clemency during his presidency, of which 1,716 were commutations of sentence. Those were more commutations than any other president has granted. Those who received commutations of sentences were serving lengthy prison terms involving mandatory minimums for most of them.
At Knox Defense, we had two clients who were granted clemency by the president. Both had their sentences substantially reduced. One client was given a mandatory minimum life sentence when his two prior convictions were state marijuana convictions for which he never served a day. The president certainly felt that such a person given a life sentence with no eligibility for parole was draconian and extremely unfair.
If the current president and Congress really want to reduce federal spending, relief on harsh drug sentences certainly would be a good place to start.